Move All Day
By now we all know that we should be taking the stairs at work and we should be parking far away when we go to the grocery store. Most of us are trying to move more — but maybe not enough. "Really you need to be looking for every single opportunity to move," says Cedric Bryant. "Research shows that non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, really does have a big impact over time. People who get up and spontaneously move throughout their day really do see benefits." Bryant took our call on a headset while pacing, and he says that he now makes most of his meetings walking meetings. Even if you don't have a headset or standing desk, get up and move at least five minutes every hour. Research show that regular five-minute breaks keep your blood sugar from rising.
Dr. James A. Levin, a leading researcher on NEAT's effect on obesity, states in one of his early papers, that the difference between a lean sedentary person and an obese one is that the lean individual tends to be ambulatory for 152 more minutes per day. Those extra two and a half hours of micro-movements will pay off big, lifelong dividends.